Japanese beetle

a small beetle, Popillia japonica, of the scarab family, introduced into the eastern U.S. from Japan, the adult of which feeds on the foliage of fruit and other trees, and the larva of which feeds on plant roots.

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Scarab beetle (Popillia japonica) that is a major pest of plants.

Introduced accidentally from Japan into the U.S. in 1916, Japanese beetles are known to feed on more than 200 species of plant. Their larvae feed underground on roots; adults feed on flowers, fruit, and foliage. They range from Maine to South Carolina, and infestations have occurred in other parts of North America. The adult, about 0.4 in. (10 mm) long, is bright metallic green with coppery-brown wing covers. Control efforts include the use of poisonous sprays and a disease-inducing bacterium and introduction of the beetle's natural enemies (certain parasitic wasp and fly species).

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 (species Popillia japonica), an insect that is a major pest and belongs to the subfamily Rutelinae (family Scarabaeidae, order Coleoptera). It was accidentally introduced into the United States from Japan about 1916, probably as larvae in the soil around imported plants. Japanese beetles are known to feed on more than 200 species of plants, including a wide variety of trees, shrubs, grasses, and nursery plants. They are gregarious insects, often feeding in large groups upon a single tree. A swarm of Japanese beetles can denude a peach tree in 15 minutes, leaving nothing but bare branches and the fruit pits.

      Female beetles burrow from 25 to 100 mm (1 to 4 inches) below the surface of the soil to deposit their eggs, which hatch in about 14 days. The larvae live the entire winter below the surface of the ground in this stage, feeding on the tender roots of plants. During May the larvae transform to prepupa and then to pupa stages, the adult beetles emerging in June or July. The beetles range from Maine to South Carolina, and infestations have been noted in other parts of North America.

      The adult beetle, about 10 mm (0.4 inch) long, is bright metallic green in colour with coppery-brown wing covers (elytra), five patches of white spots on each side, and two prominent white tufts on top of the exposed tip of the abdomen. Unlike the larva, the adult feeds on the flowers, fruit, and foliage of the plant.

      Efforts are being made to control the spread of this pest. Poisonous sprays control the adult beetles but differ in the length of their protection against reinfestation. Several of the beetle's natural enemies—species of parasitic wasps and flies that in Japan were found to prey on the larvae—have been imported into the United States, where some of them have become established. Of even greater promise as a biological control is a disease-inducing bacterium, Bacillus popilliae, which causes milky disease in larvae; its use has reduced Japanese beetle infestations in some areas.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Japanese beetle — ☆ Japanese beetle n. a shiny, green and brown scarab beetle (Popillia japonica), orig. from Japan, which eats leaves, fruits, grasses, and roses and is damaging to crops …   English World dictionary

  • Japanese beetle — Taxobox name = Japanese beetle status = secure image width = 250px regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Coleoptera subordo = Polyphaga infraordo = Scarabaeiformia superfamilia = Scarabaeoidea familia = Scarabaeidae… …   Wikipedia

  • Japanese beetle — noun small metallic green and brown beetle native to eastern Asia; serious plant pest in North America • Syn: ↑Popillia japonica • Hypernyms: ↑scarabaeid beetle, ↑scarabaeid, ↑scarabaean • Member Holonyms: ↑Popillia, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Japanese beetle — noun Date: 1900 a small metallic green and brown scarab beetle (Popillia japonica) that has been introduced into eastern North America from Japan and as a grub feeds on the roots of grasses and decaying vegetation and as an adult eats foliage and …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Japanese beetle — noun A species of beetle with iridescent copper colored elytra and green thorax and head, taxonomic name Popillia japonica …   Wiktionary

  • Japanese beetle — Jap′anese bee′tle n. pln an iridescent green beetle, Popillia japonica, of the scarab family, native to Japan, established esp. in E North America as a crop and garden pest • Etymology: 1915–20 …   From formal English to slang

  • Japanese beetle — noun a metallic green and copper chafer which is a pest of fruit and foliage as an adult and of grass roots as a larva. [Popillia japonica.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • Japanese — 1580s, Iapones; see JAPAN (Cf. Japan) + ESE (Cf. ese). Japanese beetle attested from 1919, accidentally introduced in U.S. 1916 in larval stage in a shipment of Japanese iris …   Etymology dictionary

  • beetle — beetle1 /beet l/, n., v., beetled, beetling. n. 1. any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings. 2. (loosely) any of various insects resembling the… …   Universalium

  • Japanese — /jap euh neez , nees /, adj., n., pl. Japanese. adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Japan, its people, or their language. n. 2. a native or inhabitant of Japan. 3. a person of Japanese ancestry. 4. the language of Japan. Abbr.: Japn …   Universalium

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